The Best Fishing Knife Reviews – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

fishing knife review

Finding the right knife for fishing is essential, whether you fish for a living, for food, or purely as a hobby. Having a knife that is not designed to withstand the rigors of cutting fish is a recipe for disaster, indeed. The regular dinner knives knives you usually use could actually break under the smallest amount of pressure, or rust when faced with exposure to the elements of the sea, such as the wind and the water. You want something sturdy when looking for a fishing knife, and in this post I will present the reader with five fishing knives, and I will suggest one to you that I think is the best fishing knife. Please carefully read this fishing knife review.

How To Know Whether Your Knife Is Up to the Task

As the Hi Consumption website points out, you will need a knife that will not break under pressure, undergo corrosion at the slightest exposure to the air on the sea, and are sharp enough to handle the job of cutting the fish. You have to make sure that the steel used in making the knives stand up to the task, and get rid of the bones in the fish that you and your friends don’t want to choke on later. A regular kitchen knife won’t do the trick. You will need one like the ones we’re presenting here in this fishing knife review.

Fishing Knife Comparison

Item Name Rating Price  
SOG Folding Pocket Knife – Tomcat 3.0 Tactical Knife
SOG Tomcat 3.0 Tactical Knife
4.5 out of 5 stars
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SOG BladeLight Fillet Knife w/Light BLT31K-CP
SOG BladeLight Fillet Knife
5 out of 5 stars
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Hoffner Knives BE-T7SBK-CCM Beast Knife
Hoffner Knives BE-T7SBK-CCM Knife
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Wusthof Grand Prix II 7-Inch Fillet Knife
Wusthof Grand Prix II Knife
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Knives Of Alaska SureGrip COHO Knife
Knives Of Alaska SureGrip COHO
4.5 out of 5 stars
Check Price

Fishing Knife Reviews

SOG Tomcat 3.0 Tactical Knife

sog tomcat 3 tac knife

This knife is known for maintaining hardness without becoming brittle with use. It has a 3.75 inch straight edge, according to the Amazon website–that has a quicker and deeper puncture due to its clip point shape. The blade’s thumb studs provide quick one-handed opening and closing capability and user protection, due to the special pre-lock that keeps the knife in open position while you are using it.

When you buy a product from SOG, you are buying a knife that has been used by law enforcement professionals, the military, and industrial customers around the world who rely on their tools to perform without flaw, without fail, even under the most adverse pressure. The Tomcat is no exception.

We are recommending it here as a fishing knife because of all the things that it has a reputation for cutting, and doing so fast.

This cutlery is guaranteed for the life of the owner against defects in workmanship and materials. However, the only things that would void such a warranty is abuse, misuse, or alteration of the product. The warranty also doesn’t cover things that would happen as a result of normal continual use–i.e., normal “wear and tear.”

SOG was founded by Spencer Fraser, according to the Wal Mart website, who is also the chief engineer. The Tomcat, the 1988 winner of the Best Knife award, was made under his guidance. Their products have won best knife awards worldwide. Fraser has a reputation for being an artist and a creator of things such as specialty knives for fish.

Why is the Tomcat So Durable?

The key to understanding the Tomcat’s success as a fishing knife lies in the understanding of the material of which it’s made. It is composed of a material called Kraton, which, according to Wikipedia, is a systemic block copolymer that has the properties of natural rubber. It is a strong, flexible type of rubber, indeed, that withstands weather, has high traction, and is known for its resistance to heat, weathering, and chemicals, as the Wikipedia website further points out.

Other Points to Know About the Tomcat

  • It has a straight edge, and folds. There is an arc-lock locking device that provides strength, speed, safety and durability.
  • It is a massive blade with ergonomic balance.
  • It has won the overall knife of the year award back in 1988.
  • The handle is made of Kraton, with a black finish.
  • The knife is very strong, ideal for the toughest fish-cutting jobs.
  • It has an international reputation for being good at what it does, as demonstrated by the reward it has received.
  • Has safety features to keep the user from cutting his or herself.
  • Not always easy to sharpen. One person reported that he suspects that it may be made with a form of sharpen-resistant steel.
  • It has a tendency to rust easily, as one customer has pointed out on the Amazon page.

SOG BladeLight Fillet Knife BLT31K-CP

sog bladelight fillet knife

It’s made with a glass-reinforced nylon handle, which provides a solid grip, even when it’s wet. It’s the perfect knife when the fishing expedition’s finally over, and it’s time to clean your catch in less than ideal light. Have you ever heard of a knife with lights? Well, you have now. Meet the SOG Blade that has 6 LED lights on the knife, three on either side, that burn for 2 hours with the addition of a triple A battery. As the Amazon website points out, you can get much cleaning done within the 2 hours that your lights will be burning. This is another example of the amazing artwork of artist and SOG founder Spencer Fraser.

It offers a quicker, deeper puncture on insertion, and it sharpens easily, and makes a quick work of any task, according to Amazon. If you use this knife, you won’t be hungry long. You can have your fish cut, washed, and ready to cook and eat in no time.

  • The lighting is definitely a good argument in favor of this type of knife. For what if you are stuck out at sea and it’s after dark. Besides making your cutting tool beautiful by lighting it up, it helps you get a somewhat better view of the job you are attempting to do while cutting the fish.
  • It is compact and can fit on your person.
  • It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
  • The only “con” I read about in the Amazon article was that this item is too expensive.

Hoffner Knives BE-T7SBK-CCM Beast Knife

hoffner knives beast

This knife is black, and is 7 inches long. Its width is about 5/16 inches. Amazon describes its blade as a stainless steel drop point Tanto blade. It is a thick, powerful knife capable of crushing bricks and cinder blocks, chops wood, baton logs, breaking and raking glass, can pry a door open, and hack through a wall. Imagine what it can do to a fish! Its power will make your job as fish cutter lots easier.

This knife not only has a reputation for cutting fish. According to the Hoffners website, this knife is powerful enough to hack everything up in its path.

It comes with stainless steel full tang blades with your choice of G10 handle and matching kydex sheath coming in colors of khaki, black or olive green, according to the website. Check with the laws of your state to see if it is approved by law for everyday use. It is conceivable that you may not be allowed to buy and possess certain types of knives because of their sharpness.

  • This knife has incredible strength. It can do a lot of things you would not expect from a knife of this type.
  • It has ergonomic grip handles that keep your hands from tiring out or giving out due to carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • This knife is very sharp. Take great care when using.
  • This knife is not one to be carried on your person every day.

Wusthof Grand Prix II 7-Inch Fillet Knife

wusthof grand prix 2

It is a 7-inch fillet knife that, according to the Amazon website, “effectively bones and slices delicate fish with a flexible blade.” Amazon further describes its formation as “precision forged from a single piece of high carbon, stain-resistant steel. The design of the handle was made with ergonomics in mind. Putting it in the dishwasher won’t damage it, it’s made to be dishwasher-safe.

In fact, this company is so sure you will be satisfied with their product that they have placed a lifetime warranty on it.

This knife was made in Solingen, Germany.

  • This knife was made with ergonomics in mind. It is good for people who have a tendency to injure their hands or wrists, or put tremendous strain on them by constantly cutting things, such as meat or fish.
  • It is designed for washing in the dishwasher. You don’t have to worry about your Wusthof cutlery not surviving because of one wash in the dishwasher.
  • The only criticism I read was that this knife actually wasn’t stiff enough.

Knives Of Alaska SureGrip COHO Knife

knives of aslaska suregrip

On this particular brand, the full tang handle is double-riveted and has a brass lanyard sleeve that makes handle shift possible. It is 13 inches, three inches longer than its cousin, the Steel Header Fillet Knife, according to the Amazon website.

Knives of Alaska provide you with a lifetime warranty and the knife is proudly made in the United States.

The design of this knife caters toward medium and larger fish. There is a full, eight-inch cutting edge for this purpose. Flat ground and razor sharp, your fish fillets smoothly with this particular brand of knife.

  • The knife is very sharp, and can yield accurate, smoother cuts of your fish than with regular knives.
  • It is long enough to get a good grip on the fish you’re trying to cut, keeping your hands in their place, and thereby protecting them.
  • It is hard to “get the hang of” at first. It does tend to slip out of your hand, and, when you are inexperienced, could lead to a very dangerous situation, as some customers on the website have pointed out. Instead of enjoying your delicious catch, you could be nursing finger injuries. So be very careful with this particular knife, especially if you are a beginner.


I must say after this fishing knife review of five different brands, I liked the SOG Tomcat 3.0 Tactical Knife as the best of the five knives. It quickly and deeply punctures the fish you have been cleaning, which will in turn lead to quicker cooking, and to the best part: eating the catch of the day with your friends, or relatives. I would feel much safer using this knife than the others. I loved the special pre-lock that keeps the knife in the proper position throughout its use. It received an award for being the best knife in 1988 for a reason.

Best Fishing Knife

Best Fishing Knife

If law enforcement and the army use it, that tells me that the knife has professional capabilities that the others may not have. In these two settings, you know that this knife has to be sharp and fast-acting. For indeed, these are two examples of careers that require quick action, and the Tomcat is fast.

Best Cheap Fishing Knife

cheap fishing knife

If you’re looking at your wallet, however, I will suggest the SOG BladeLight model. It costs less, and you get more for your money. Think of it. For a lower price than you would pay for the Tomcat, you get the lit blade, which would come in handy on those nights when it’s dark after you’ve finished your fishing trip for the day, and it’s time to bring it home to clean it. It is sharp, too. But its styling is ergonomically conscious so it won’t be so uncomfortable in your hands. What good is its beautiful blue styling and lights that decorate either side of the handle if it doesn’t fit comfortably in your hand, and do the job that it purports to do? For one thing, it would not be the best fishing knife for you, even if we recommend it.

Various Warnings about Knives

I would be remiss if I did not include in this fishing knife review a warning about knives. All of them are not legal, and are regulated differently in different states. Because they are considered deadly weapons, you could go to jail for carrying or possession of a lethal weapon for a longer time than you may have expected. While you know that the only purpose you would imagine using a knife–especially one of the kinds we have discussed here–for anything but cutting your fish and getting it ready for meal–law enforcement may not be as convinced.

cheap fishing knife

The only reason we have advertised these knives here is with the intent that they would be used for cutting fish you’ve caught and readying it to enjoy. But because of people who have more violent ideas, laws have had to be instituted governing knives. So a word to the wise: Be careful and keep it legal. If you are a teenager, check with the laws of your state: There are minimum ages for ownership of a knife–even when it comes to fishing.

Also, there are laws in your state that may ban some or all of the knives mentioned here. Research those laws, and ask questions. Do not only think of what knives are best at cutting fish. Rather, look for the best legal knife in your state. Talk to your local police, or other members of the law enforcement community, then make an informed decision about what to order.

For as the Overstock website points out–you as the buyer and end user are responsible for knowing all the laws of the state or domain in which you are buying the knives from. No court in the land will accept “I didn’t know” as a defense for breaking the law. If you order it, chances are that Amazon, Overstock, Ebay, and any other online knife store–will gladly accept your money. You owe it to yourself to stay out of trouble with law enforcement in your area. It is your job as the consumer to not buy merchandise that will get you into trouble with the law.

Safety First

Before using any of these knives in your fishing expeditions, do not assume that you know everything about how to use these knives. Practice doing it and doing it safely, until you feel comfortable doing it. Or let a more experienced person show you how to safely use them. As I have said many times throughout this fishing knife review, these knives are sharp. Make sure you have a cutting position that is comfortable, and does not involve your fingers being anywhere in the way. And have sufficient lighting when you are cleaning your fish at night. I know the SOG Blade Light knife has lights on either side, but you may not choose that brand for whatever reason. Make sure the area in which you choose to prepare your fish is safely and well lit.

If you are inexperienced, don’t go out alone. If the person whom you’re with is better at cutting than you are, then give the job of cutting to him or her.

Closing Thoughts

If, after having researched the laws of your state and/or federal laws, and practiced using these knives, you have decided that one of these knives is for you, it is hoped that you will enjoy cutting, cleaning and eating the fish that you’ve caught. But remember to enjoy it safely.

Also, let me warn you against using a regular knife to cut fish. Regular table knives are no good for cleaning fish. You will want one of the knives I have described here for that task because of the strength of the knife that is required for the task. Some fish are very tough to cut, and if you use a regular knife, you risk not only damaging your poor knife, but you could incur great injury and a whopping medical bill for yourself. Yes, they may be extra money, but they are the safer solution. They require some practice, but once you get used to using them, you will never again want to turn back to your old knives. So give the fishing knives I have described a try. You’ll be glad you did.

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